Rovers high on Pride

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The Independent Online

The Bristol Rovers coach, Garry Thompson, has warned Derby County that his Third Division strugglers will be high on passion when they visit Pride Park in the FA Cup third round.

Thompson, in charge during the absence of the Rovers manager Gerry Francis because of a family illness, was still buzzing when he met the press after a thrilling 3-2 second-round replay win over Plymouth Argyle on Tuesday night.

"It will be a great experience for our lads to go to Pride Park and I want them to measure themselves against Premiership players," he said. "If we show the same passion we displayed in this match – and I will expect no less – we will give them something to think about.

"We will take loads of fans to Derby and it will be a terrific test for us. But before then we desperately need to put some League points on the board because we are too close to the bottom of the Third Division for anyone's liking."

The Plymouth manager, Paul Sturrock, was gracious in defeat. He said: "I am as pleased as I can be with a performance when we lose.

"We played the way I like my teams to play and will win more games than we lose if we continue in the same vein.

"We showed a great attitude to come back from 2-0 down and, while the lads are very disappointed not to be going to Derby County, there is so much still for us to play for this season.

"We will pick them up. The worrying thing is that we are conceding goals in cup competitions and I just hope it doesn't transmit to our League form."

The Southend manager, Rob Newman, was understandably delighted after seeing his side knock Second Division Chesterfield out of the Cup with a 2-0 win.

After the Shrimpers had booked a home tie against Tranmere in the third round, he said: "We went into the game hoping for an early goal and to get one after just a couple of minutes was tremendous.

"It gave us all the confidence in the world and after that we never looked like letting them back into the game.

"I have got nothing but praise for the way all the lads played. We put together some fine moves and defended solidly as a unit when we had to."

The Chesterfield manager, Nicky Law, blasted his side, saying: "It was not a case of us getting beaten – we simply gave them the game without any fight. It was an inept performance and one devoid of any ideas."

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